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3 years ago

Android Game Review: Great Little War Game

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YouTube link for mobile viewing

What happens if you take one part Advance Wars, one part any tactics game, give it a hilarious storyline with a rough-and-tumble stereotypical general, and release it for Android? Oh, well then you'd have Great Little War Game by Rubicon Development.

In Great Little War Game (or GLWG, as it's named in the app drawer), you're part of Force Blue (my name, not theirs), whose leader, Generalissimo, is hell-bent on eradicating the armies of Force Red. (Red vs. Blue, anyone?!)

Gameplay is classic turn-by-turn based combat, where you move your forces around, attack your enemies, and when you're done, they do the same to you. The map is broken up by circles, and every circle is one step a unit can move. A unit can only move a certain number of spaces per turn, so plan your offense accordingly.

In the very first missions of the campaign, you're limited to using the most basic of units (grunts and snipers), but as you move through the story, you'll see your forces grow to include other units like the engineer, bazooka man, and even vehicles like the tank and jeep.

Missions on each map vary, from simple objectives to wiping out all your enemies, to other, more complex objectives like taking over your enemy's base (something only the engineer can do). My latest mission had me lasting eight days (or turns) without the general being killed, and once the eighth day ended, I won.

Trophies are awarded if you complete a mission's objective in a quick amount of time, and you can keep track of what trophy you'll be awarded in the same area of the screen that tells you what day your mission is on and how much money you have. You can also buy more troops with the funds you receive at the start of each turn.

If single-player gaming isn't your style, GLWG also has a "Pass & Play" setting, where you can play against a friend, and you just pass the game to them when it's their turn. It definitely hearkens back to the days of Mario Bros. on the SNES, and I like it.

There's also OpenFeint achievements scattered over the game's 20 missions, for the true completionist, and a Skirmish practice mode, for those looking to hone their war-making skills.

Overall, Great Little War Game exemplifies some of the best traits a game could have: humor, challenging gameplay, and replayability. The fact you can save up to three games at once is a great feature, too, and ensures you'll never have to start over (unless you want to).

Great Little War Game is $2.99 in the Android Market. We've got download links after the break.

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3 years ago

Google Catalogs available for download now, just in time for Christmas

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The latest addition to the Google Android application circle has been launched today, as the Google Catalogs app becomes available for download for tablets.

Put simply, the app pulls together 400 digital catalog issues from such brands as Nike, Sephora and Nordstrom for you to browse at your leisure. Interactivity is the name of the game with images and videos sewn throughout the pages and pages of shopping treats. Another neat time saving touch is the unified search box, which allows you to search across all the catalogs for a specific item. Purchasing is as easy as one tap to find the product nearby or at a retailers website, kind of similar to the Google Shopper app. 

This is sadly for those of us in the rest of the world, another U.S.-only application for the time being. But if you're Stateside and fancy a helping hand with your Christmas shopping, check out the promo video after the break, and hit up the download link below. 

Source: Google

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3 years ago

Android Game Review: Ground Effect Pro XHD

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YouTube link for mobile viewing

If there's one game I loved playing as I was growing up, it'd have to be Hydro Thunder. Piloting souped-up speed boats with ridiculous turbo jets tacked onto their backs was one of the highlights of any trip to the arcade, and I could burn endless amounts of quarters playing again and again and again.

While Ground Effect Pro XHD isn't Hydro Thunder in name, it's pleasantly similar in design and gameplay. You pilot an incredibly fast hovercraft over all sorts of different terrain, taking corners at ludicrous speed, all while racing against computer-controlled opponents for the top spot.

When you open the game up, there's three game modes to choose from: Race, Ghost Race, and Just Cruise. Race is the main game, and where most of the action is at. You pick your favorite hovercraft (they're all the same, spec-wise), pick your race track (there are 14 of them), and hit the ground water running.

To ensure you follow the course fairly, there's checkpoints every so often you have to pass through. if you miss a set, you've got to turn around to go through it, which usually loses you a lot of time. Try to avoid obstacles, too. If you happen to go careening off into a mountainside or something, your craft will explode and you'll be reset close to a checkpoint.

Ghost Race is a sort of practice run, where you're racing a single computer opponent, fighting for first place. It's a bit less hectic than the normal eight-man racefests the normal mode has, and is awesome for learning a particular track.

Just Cruise is exactly what is sounds like: you, by yourself, just cruising around a track of your choosing. This is the ultimate practice, because there's no competition, no stress, and you can really enjoy the digital scenery (and secretly wish you had a boat of your own).

You control the hovercraft by turning your device like a steering wheel. The controls are fairly tight, so if you're like me and have a tendency to overcompensate turns, you'll definitely see the effects of that on screen.

Aside from that, there's two solitary pedals on the bottom-right corner of the screen. The left pedal is your air brake and the right one is your Hydro Thunder-esque super boost. Both abilities are limited (the brake is the green bar, the boost is yellow), but they replenish fairly quickly.

Oh, and did I mention you've got to place in the top three in a race to unlock the next track? That's the game's brilliant way of making sure you're not in over your head.

Ground Effect Pro XHD's other big feature (aside from tight gameplay) is that it not only supports stereoscopic 3D on devices that support it (I'm looking at you, EVO 3D), it also supports regular 3D using those tinted-lens glasses that were all the rage back in the day.

From the settings menu, you can choose either red/cyan, yellow/blue, or green/magenta glasses, and the game will adjust itself appropriately for your extra-dimensional gaming pleasure.

If there was a race you just absolutely killed it on, you can watch a replay of the entire thing from the Hi-Score/Replay menu. Very cool stuff.

Ground Effect Pro XHD is awesome. It's long (14 levels!), it's tricky, it's got a kickin' soundtrack, and it supports 3D (if you're into that sorta thing). If you like racing games (or have a soft spot for Hydro Thunder), give this one a look.

Ground Effect Pro XHD is $5.99 in the Android Market. We've got download links after the break.

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3 years ago

My Consumer Cellular app now available in the Android Market

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Consumer Cellular announced today that its My Consumer Cellular Android app is now available for download on its sole Android offering, the Motorola Bravo. Consumer Cellular is a  no-contract provider that caters to an older audience (it's the exclusive wireless provider for AARP members) and with its new app, users can track usage, shop for plans, and view and pay bills. And if you're an AARP member, the app includes a scan-ready AARP card to replace your wallet's hard copy. Hit the break to grab the free app from the Android Market.

Source: Consumer Cellular

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3 years ago

World of Goo has arrived on Android

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2D Boy's popular title World of Goo is now available in the Android Market for a cool 40% off sale price of $2.99 through December 5. Previously available on PC, Mac, Wii, and iOS, World of Goo is an physics-based puzzle adventure through the world of goo balls, which sounds slightly sillier than reality: the game won IGN's Wii Game of the Year along with MetaCritic's iPad Game of the Year, accolades which don't go unnoticed in the gaming world. There's also a demo version available in the Android Market for the remaining skeptics. Hit the break for the download link.

Source: 2D Boy

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3 years ago

ARM announces free Community Edition of ARM Development Studio 5 [programming]

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There's more than one way to write Android apps, and if you're working on something intense, you know using the NDK and native code is the way to go.  If you're a part-time developer or anyone not part of a big mobile development house, you also know that some of the native development and debugging tools aren't cheap.  ARM has you covered by releasing the "Community Edition" of their DS-5 tool suite, and the great price of free.  It's distributed as an Eclipse plug-in, and an easy install will give you access to a C, C++, and Assembly graphical debugger, a software performance profiler and system analyzer, and more tools to help your development of native ARM code.

For those of us who aren't programmers, using native ARM code has some serious advantages.  It's up to 400 percent faster than code ran through the Dalvik virtual machine, makes for truly portable code (even between platforms), and because most Android phones and tablets run ARM processors developers can take advantage of platform specific instructions for apps that run better and use less resources (like battery power!).  ARM's new development suite offers app devs tools for native development built right into the same IDE they use for Java based code -- Eclipse.  Not having to learn new software while also debugging insanely complicated source code means the devs can better focus on their work.  All around it's a good thing.

Whether you're a developer with a need, or just a curious bystander who wants to learn more, hit the source links to find out all about it.

Source: BusinessWire; More: ARM

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3 years ago

Android Central Editors' app picks for Nov. 27, 2011

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Your weekly fix, a day late. Let's hit the break together and take a look at some of our favorite applications from this week, and be sure to sound off in the comments and let us know some of your favorites!

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3 years ago

Firefox nightlies for Android have switched to native UI builds

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If you recall a couple weeks back we mentioned that Mozilla was switching the Firefox for Android application to use native Android UI elements instead of XUL.  This was done to create a unified look and feel and improve performance, and now anyone can give it a run.  The fellows at Mozilla have now started pushing nightlies that include the changes.  The newer builds are faster, but of course like any nightly builds there will be bugs.  If you want to have a look, or if you're feeling like bug-hunting and helping out the Firefox team, grab the nightly here and install it.  You'll see that Firefox has come a long way, and they are slowly building a mobile browser that can rival a true desktop version.

Source: Mark Finkle

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3 years ago

Fruit Ninja: Puss in Boots hits Amazon Appstore on Monday

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Halfbrick Studios today announced that Fruit Ninja: Puss in Boots will be avilable as Amazon's free app of the day on Nov. 28. (It'll be 99 cents after the promotion.) It's largely the same Fruit Ninja we've come to know and love, but it's got the furball from the last couple of Shreck movies incorporated. Your kids are gonna love it.

We've got more screen shots and promo video after the break.

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3 years ago

Carrier IQ withdraws 'misguided' cease-and-desist letter, apologizes to security advocate TrevE

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Well, that was quick. Carrier IQ just sent out a press statement saying it's withdrawn its cease-and desist letter to Trevor Eckhart, who recently detailed how the company's action worked. Said Carrier IQ:

"Our action was misguided and we are deeply sorry for any concern or trouble that our letter may have caused Mr. Eckhart. We sincerely appreciate and respect EFF’s work on his behalf, and share their commitment to protecting free speech in a rapidly changing technological world."

Looks like the Electronic Frontier Foundation's backing of Eckhart paid off, the lawyers have done their thing, and the security and privacy advocate known as TrevE won't be pursued for thousands of dollars of fines after all.

That doesn't change the fact that the Carrier IQ software remains on a number of phones, and many of you aren't crazy about having a hidden background app report how you use your phone back to the manufacturer -- even if you do agree to it up front -- and that's certainly an argument that needs to continue.

We've got the full press release after the break.

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3 years ago

Madden NFL '12 now optimized for the Xperia PLAY

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If a game of touch football isn't your normal tradition for after the Thanksgiving meal, here's an idea: popular EA title Madden NFL '12 is now optimized for the Sony Ericsson Xperia PLAY, and can be downloaded from the Android Market for $4.99. If you've played Madden on a touchscreen, you're probably aware that physical controls, while not completely necessary, are certainly the better option. The Xperia PLAY is now available on both AT&T and Verizon for $49.99 on contract. Hit the break for the download link.

Source: Android Market

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3 years ago

'DJ Pauly D – Beat That Boardwalk' arrives in the Android Market -- hair gel and tanning sessions sold separately

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The Android Market is home to some strange things at times, so it only makes sense that DJ Pauly D makes an appearance there. At least this one is kind of tolerable to a certain extent, mildly amusing and even kinda fun -- if only for a while. DJ Pauly D – Beat That Boardwalk game is now available for download and features all the pixel loving Pauly D you can handle:

  • Bomb the Boardwalk! - Maneuver DJ Pauly D down Jersey’s bumpin’ boardwalk, scoring points, pizza and babes! Keep’em alive through waves of brawny bros that try to bring the beatdown! Steer clear of fugly grenades that want to ruin the night! Dodge hordes of buzz-kill executives that try to stop the show!
  • Boardwalkers, Music and Bling! - Keep DJ Pauly D going strong by collecting gold chains, boom boxes and head phones. Use his mad game on the Garden-State girlies to score more points and get some boardwalk love!
  • Pump Iron to Activate Juicehead Mode! - Hit up the gym to kick DJ Pauly D into JUICEHEAD mode, letting him plow through enemies like a grenade at the buffet!
  • Stop and Take Tan! - Tanning salons keep DJ Pauly D from becoming DANGEROUSLY PALE! Pale skin costs you precious points and party time. Keep an eye on the complexion meter so you’ll know when to bronze up.
  • Laundromats Keep you Lookin' Fly! - Stop at the Laundromat or DJ Pauly D will go from stud to dud! Stay fresh to score more points and keep the night on fire!

All that fun isn't free though, it will set you back around $1 but hey worst case, you'll have something to kill some time and get a laugh at. Plus, it won't cut that far into your hair gel expenses. Download link is past the break for you all.

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3 years ago

Documents to Go is today's free app from Amazon

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While it's easy to overlook the Amazon Appstore's daily free app picks, we'd be remiss if we failed to mention this one: Documents to Go, the powerful document editing app, is today's featured freebie. Regularly priced at $14.99, Dataviz's full productivity suite can edit and create Word, Excel, and Powerpoint documents, and can also read PDF files. The full version offers customization options and syncing with your Google Docs and your desktop files. Nice way to kick off a week of bargain shopping if you ask us. Hit the source link to grab it before it expires tonight at midnight. 

Source: Amazon Appstore

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3 years ago

Android App Mini Review: Mobile Checkbook

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Guest review by Kerri Neill

Mobile Checkbook, a hugely popular personal accounting application on the BlackBerry platform, is now available for Android devices. Mobile Checkbook allows the user to quickly enter in both deposits and withdrawals while maintaining an accurate bank balance on the go.

Mobile Checkbook allows you to ditch that paper transaction register and record their transactions as they occur. You can also transfer funds, reconcile accounts as well as set up automatic/recurring transactions. There is no limit on how many accounts you may create and the application allows you to use one of many currency options.

  • Transaction lists can be exported via email with optional XLS or QIF attachments which can then be imported easily into most computer financial software like Quicken or Quickbooks.
  • PIN code password feature that you can set just in case you're worried about someone seeing your financial information if your phone gets lost.
  • Secure cloud based Backup/Restore option
  • Show/Hide Available Balance on the apps main screen
  • Reconciliation
  • Multiple date formats

Mobile Checkbook is currently available in the marketplace for only $0.99! Hit the break to download this fantastic financial application today.

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3 years ago

Android Game Review: Chicken Coup Remix HD

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YouTube link for mobile viewing

Remember in The Fox and the Hound how Tod is a likeable, heroic fox that ends up saving the day in the end? He must be from a different breed of fox (the Disney breed?) than the ones you'll meet in Chicken Coup Remix HD, because these foxes are nothing but muderous, bloodthirsty creatures with only one goal in mind: eat all your brainless chickens.

Why do I call the chickens brainless (other than they fact they are)? Because while the cunning foxes are popping in and out of bushes surrounding your farm (great location, Farmer Bill), your chickens are aimlessly wandering around like dodo birds. Therefore, it's up to you to corral your feathered friends into their respective coops before they're dragged away and devoured.

To move a chicken, drag your finger across it. It's now hooked on you, and you're free to move it somewhere safer (like it's coop). If you drag chickens and roosters into the wrong coop, you lose "life," so to speak, and once you're down you alloted lives, your level ends.

There's also two other ways to lose a life: letting a fox escape with a chicken in its mouth or not getting a chicken into its approproate coop soon enough. The fox issue is easy, as you'll see the fox running off. The timing thing can be a little difficult, as it's only denoted by a colored exclamation point over your chicken's head. Green is ok, yellow is so-so, and red is imminent loss of cluck.

So how do we deal with these pesky foxes, anyway? For some reason, you want to drag those into the barn. Dragging is the same as with the chickens, but what the farmer intends to do with a farm full of hungry foxes is beyond me. (I try not to dig too deeply.) You'll know which one is the barn, too. It's the biggest and it has a picture of a fox on it.

What other challenges do you face? Obstacles and terrain vary in each level, starting off with an inconveniently placed tractor, then moving onto things like an actual fence. You'll have to stay light on your fingers if you're going to save all the chickens in time.

Scoring is pretty simple. Get chickens in their coop, get points. The more chickens you get in without losing one and your "chicken power" goes up. Chicken power adds onto the next chicken you save, and keeps growing until a chicken is lost. You can also chain like groups of chickens together for sweet bonuses (and to get a lot of stuff of screen at once).

If the screen becomes too cluttered, a simple pinch-to-zoom (out) motion will use one of your three bombs to clear everything off the screen and give you a moment to breathe.

And in case you're wondering the difference between the original and remix versions of Chicken Coup, an eagle-eyed Puppy Punch employee answered the question for me:

There are several differences between the original and the remix version. Among them are that Chicken Coup Remix HD has more levels than the original. We have optimized it to run a lot smoother and with less lag than the original. You are also able to pick up, drag, and drop Chickens & Foxes with more precision.

To top off an already impressive game, there's also OpenFeint support and achievements to be had, so don't think the game stops once you've maxed out every level. Puppy Punch Productions is going to keep adding in new levels, too, so the replayability factor is pretty high with this title.

Chicken Coup Remix HD is $1.99 in the Android Market. If you're ready to try life on the farm, we've got download links after the break.

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